Spokane Journal of Business

Work on Catalyst building to start next fall

150K-square-foot building slated for 2020 completion

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-—Michael Green Architects
The 150,000-square-foot Catalyst Building is to be built along the 500 and 600 blocks of east Sprague Avenue. The structure could be the first of several on that site.

Construction is scheduled to begin in the fall on the Catalyst Building, which will house three academic departments for Eastern Washington University beginning in 2020.

EWU plans to move its computer science, electrical engineering, and visual communication design departments to the new building when it’s finished, EWU President Mary Cullinan announced in February.

Avista Development’s proposed $50 million, 150,000-square-foot building will be constructed along the 500 and 600 blocks of east Sprague Avenue, near the south landing of the University District pedestrian bridge, which is under construction. 

The building will have about 30,000 square feet committed to classroom space and dry labs. EWU will serve as the primary tenant and use roughly 60,000 square feet in all.

Avista also plans to occupy 30,000 square feet in the building, while Menlo Park, Calif.-based Katerra Inc. will occupy approximately 15,000 square feet.

The building will be net-zero ready, as it will generate the electricity it uses through solar panels on the roof and additional renewable-energy technologies.

Katerra Inc. will serve as the contractor for the project. McKinstry will be the mechanical, electrical, plumbing, fire-protection, and data contractor. Vancouver, Wash.-based Michael Green Architects is the design architect.

Avista Development owns the land on which the building will be constructed and has formed a separate entity, the South Landing Building A LLC, with McKinstry executives Dean Allen and Bill Teplicky to develop the project. Allen and Teplicky have developed more than 1.3 million square feet in Spokane, Seattle, and Portland combined, according to Avista.

Avista Development also owns parcels to the south, east, and west of the Catalyst site and has plans for future development there.

At a standing-room only media event to announce the move, Cullinan said, “Ever since (Avista CEO) Scott Morris articulated his vision for this incredible building in this incredible space, I wanted to see Eastern in this building. I wanted Eastern to be the anchor tenant. It will dramatically increase opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration with companies and other universities.”

The move will involve relocating 50 faculty members and a total of 1,000 students from across all three departments, according to Cullinan.

The university’s college of business and administration and its college of and health sciences and public health already are located in Spokane’s University District and currently enroll 3,000 students, Cullinan says.

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